Top Placements for Upsells and Cross-Sells in E-Commerce


In 2023, product upsells and cross-sells are considered table stakes for e-commerce websites. While most of our clients recognize this, they're not always aware of the many placements available across the website and how to use them effectively.

Before we dig into some placement opportunities, let's align on what we mean by upselling and cross-selling. Both tactics aim to increase AOV and drive revenue while providing more value to the customer.

Upselling: encouraging customers to purchase a higher-end or upgraded version of the product they are considering or have chosen. Example: A customer is looking for a new coffee maker. Upselling techniques drive them to a more advanced model that can make cold brew and tea.

Cross-selling: suggesting related, alternative, or complementary products to customers based on their interests or the product they're considering or have chosen. Example: A customer is interested in buying a new bike. Cross-selling leads them to include a pair of cycling shoes, a bike pump, and a spare set of tires with their purchase.

Top Upselling/Cross-Selling Placements

  1. Product Page, Under 'Add to Cart': This is a prime location to suggest complementary or upgraded products to the one the customer is considering. These are often special offers for bundling other products or similar alternative products.
  2. Product Page Module: It's typically wise to have a couple of different product modules on the product page. One can show related products (usually at the top), the other can show recently viewed products.
  3. Mini Cart: The mini-cart should have upselling and cross-selling placements under the product in the cart. Don't overdo it, though! Keep it to 2-3 relevant recommendations. Also be sure to include some popular products when the cart is empty. A bonus is including a slide-in or pop-up with add-ons when a customer adds a product to cart.
  4. Cart Page: Even if you have a mini-cart, the cart page can be good to include for cart abandonment email/SMS. Don't forget to give this page the same love as the mini-cart.
  5. Checkout: On the checkout page, display last-minute offers or discounts to encourage impulse buys before finalizing the purchase.
  6. Order Confirmation Page: Once a customer makes a purchase, suggest related products or add-ons that complement their order. Even better, offer a discount. It's an excellent opportunity to keep the customer engaged even after the sale and drive AOV. Discounted gift cards are also a great tactic here.
  7. Order Tracking Page: These pages are among the most trafficked on an e-commerce website. Platforms like Wonderment can help make these pages look great while displaying personalized recommendations based on their purchase history or browsing behavior to spark their interest in additional products.
  8. Email/SMS Follow-ups: Send targeted follow-up emails post-purchase, recommending products related to the ones bought or highlighting popular products in the same category. After a customer has had time to use the purchased item, send a follow-up email suggesting related products based on their purchase and usage patterns.
  9. Category Pages: Within each category, use similar modules to the product page to show related or recommended products to guide customers to discover additional items within their area of interest.
  10. Search Results Page: Display suggested products that closely match the search query, helping customers find what they're looking for and potentially discover more.
  11. "Hello" Banner: Use the banner at the top of the page to your advantage! Promote special offers, bundled deals, or related products to entice customers to explore further on the pages with the most traffic.

Level Up with Personalization

Years ago, we'd use code and tagging to create product recommendations. These days, platforms like Rebuy and Dynamic Yield can use a user's past purchase history, on-site behavior, and other inputs to generate personalized recommendations that will resonate with the customer that much more.


This post originally appeared in Edition No. 159 of my newsletter. Subscribe here.

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